Sunday, May 04, 2014

Taoos Chaman ki Myna

by Aishwarya Pramod

This Sunday, I went to see a children's play at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Chowpatty). The play was called Taoos Chaman ki Myna, meaning "The mynah from the Peacock Garden".

I loved it. It was funny, witty, and extremely well-produced, with a mix of realistic and stylized scenes lending it a fairy-tale feel. And the music was great (my mom is still humming it).

Taoos Chaman ki Myna is based on a short story written by Naiyer Masud, an Urdu writer from Lucknow. The play is set in Lucknow during the mid-1800s. Wajid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Awadh, has a large cage full of beautiful mynahs in his garden in Qaisar Bagh. Kaley Khan is a poor employee in the Nawab's garden. The play follows the story of Kaley Khan and his family, and specifically, what happens when he steals one of the mynahs for his daughter, who has long been asking for one.
Lucknow in the background. Death of Kaley Khan's wife, with his daughter sorrowing.
The acting incorporated a lot of graceful dance-like movements and postures (Kathak, according to my mother), and the play almost became like a dance-drama.
Kaley Khan's first glimpse of Taoos Chaman's peacocks.
Outstanding choreography and imagination.
Newly arrived hill mynas are about to be released into the cage in the Nawab's garden.
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah comes to inspect, along with the British Resident
I loved the glimpse I got into Lucknow's culture - the story was peppered with references to the city of Lucknow - from major landmarks and historical figures to street foods and bird markets, havelis and Nawabi eccentricities. 

It was presented by Gillo Theatre Repertory, which works exclusively in theatre for young audiences. I like the fact that Gillo focuses on showcasing Indian content. They have established a talented repertory of adult performers who perform exclusively for children.
The talented team at Gillo.
Dolly Thakore was there in the audience, she came up on stage and praised the group
... wah re celeb dekh liya B)
The hall was filled with children, most of whom had come with their parents. There was also a large group of schoolchildren with their teachers. I think the play definitely succeeded in delighting the kids :) The adults in the audience loved it too, going by their expressions and applause.

Now I'm looking for more of Naiyer Masud's stories, in Hindi.

Photo credit: Deepa Krishnan


Devina Medda said...

Thank you :)

Devina Medda said...

Thank you :)

taranum ahmed said...

great to know the audiances view. thanx

taranum ahmed said...

thanx a lot.

taranum ahmed said...

thanx a lot

Tanya said...

Hi Deepa and Aishwarya,

This is Tanya from Gillo (Deepa - we met at Jodhpur airport too!]. Wanted to invite all of you for our show of Hanuman Ki Ramayan at Shanmukhananda Hall tomr. 8th June. Details at

Do come!